Dear Jill, I love the look of hardwood floors but my house is on a cement slab. If I use laminate flooring will I hurt the resale value of my home? Alice
Alice, from the perspective of resale value, Oakwood homebuyers tend to prefer hardwood floors over laminates (especially, if they are the original hardwood floors that have been refinished.) Fortunately, it is possible to install hardwood on a slab; however, if you’re planning on doing the work yourself, you should consult a flooring company to find out the proper installation procedure.
Dear Jill, I want to paint my kitchen cabinets and was wondering if you have any advice on making the job easier. Should I take the cabinets down or paint them in place? Michelle
Michelle, over the years, I’ve painted the vintage cabinetry in several of my rehab houses. First, you should make sure to sand the cabinets well before you begin any painting. We always remove the doors but leave the bodies of the cabinets on the walls. Spray paint the cabinet doors, preferably with a power sprayer that you can rent or buy, carefully avoiding any drips or runs. Since it will take at least a couple of coats; sand lightly between coats for a more professional look. The cabinets can be painted in place with a six inch foam mini roller: once again, be sure to sand between coats for a factory quality finish.
Dear Jill, my partner and I are first-time homebuyers and someone at work told me that we need to get preapproved before we find a house. Is there any advantage to getting preapproved before we start house hunting? Pat
Dear Pat, yes, it is always a good idea to get preapproval because you won’t know how much the bank will loan you, in other words, exactly how much you can spend, until you are preapproved. Also, if there is a problem with your credit that needs to be resolved, you’ll want to know about it before you find a house you like so you’ll have time to resolve the issue. Finally, when you do find your dream home, you’ll want to already be preapproved so you can make an offer immediately. Being preapproved will greatly enhance the chances of your offer being accepted (especially if the seller has multiple offers) since sellers prefer buyers with preapproval from their bank.
Dear Jill, my husband and I are planning to redo our kitchen. I really love the new retro appliances and want to do our kitchen in a vintage style but I’ve heard that doing renovations that are too specific to your own taste could make a house more difficult to sell. Should we go with the vintage look or would we be better off just going with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances like everybody else? Anne
Dear Anne, while it’s true that granite and stainless steel probably have the broadest appeal to Oakwood homebuyers, many buyers also find the vintage look appealing – if it is done well. However, if you go the vintage route, you should make sure that the look of the appliances, cabinets and tile are appropriate to the style and era of the rest of the home. For instance, art deco appliances and cabinets will look better in a home built in the 1920’s or 30’s than in a mid-century ranch house. Likewise, 1950’s retro appliances in unusual colors could look great in a mid-century ranch but just plain weird in a conservative 1920’s Colonial home. As long as you keep these things in mind, there’s really no reason to shy away from the retro look, especially if it’s something you really love.